US Crypto Crackdown Hurts USD Coin

In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire stated that the US regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies has been a significant factor behind the decreasing market capitalization of USD Coin (USDC). The regulatory scrutiny on USDC comes after the collapse of the FTX exchange, a banking crisis, and USDC’s depegging.

The USDC depegged in March due to the US banking crisis, which caused Circle’s $3.3 billion worth of USDC reserves to be stuck with Silicon Valley Bank, one of the three crypto-friendly banks that were shut down by regulators. Although Circle had assured its customers that it had the backing from investors to fill the gap, the news caused the market to react quickly, and USDC depegged from the US dollar.

At its peak, USDC had a market cap of $56 billion, placing it right behind Tether-issued USDT. However, since the banking crisis and USDC’s depeg, the stablecoin’s market cap has been reduced nearly by half, currently sitting at $30.7 billion.

Circle CEO Allaire has also raised concerns that the lack of regulatory clarity in the US may force crypto companies to seek opportunities overseas. With the recent passing of the Markets in Crypto-Assets Act (MiCA) by the European Parliament and the push for adoption by Hong Kong, Allaire believes that the US will be left behind.

Allaire has called for Congress to step up, stating that it is a critical moment for the US. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) led by Gary Gensler has been on an enforcement spree since the FTX collapse saga. The SEC has threatened regulatory action against multiple crypto platforms and exchanges.

During the oversight hearing on digital assets, Gensler faced pushback from policymakers, and many crypto proponents have also questioned the authority of the SEC and Gensler. The regulatory environment in the US has caused uncertainty and concern, leading to a decline in the market capitalization of USDC.

In conclusion, the regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies by US regulators has been a significant factor behind the decreasing market capitalization of USDC. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire has raised concerns about the lack of regulatory clarity and the US banking system’s global reputation. The passing of the Markets in Crypto-Assets Act (MiCA) by the European Parliament and the push for adoption by Hong Kong have put the US at risk of being left behind in the crypto industry. Congress needs to step up and provide regulatory clarity for the US to remain competitive in the evolving crypto landscape.


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Crypto Donations to Exceed $10 Billion in a Decade

Data collected by The Giving Block, a crypto charity platform, has revealed that cryptocurrency donations are set to exceed $10 billion in the next decade. The Giving Block’s 2023 annual report, titled “Crypto Philanthropy Data, Trends & Predictions,” shows that all-time crypto donations on the platform surpassed $125 million in 2022. The platform predicts that it could top $1 billion by August 2027, reaching $5 billion in June 2031, and exceeding the $10 billion mark in November 2032.

The Giving Block based its predictions not only on the data available from its platform but also on its analysis of Bitcoin’s (BTC) price trajectory. The platform predicts that BTC may reach $100,000 in September 2026 and $250,000 in October 2029.

The report also highlights the most popular cryptocurrencies used in donations and the largest crypto donation of the year. USD Coin (USDC) accounted for 44% of the volume, with Ether (ETH) following closely behind with 24%, and BTC with 17% of the donations. Meanwhile, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin holds the record for the largest crypto donation of the year, giving $9.4 million through Balvi, his philanthropic fund.

As the popularity of crypto donations grows, some may wonder where the donations go. In 2022, The Giving Block shared six charities that benefited from crypto donations, including Orangutan Outreach, which cares for orphaned and displaced orangutans, and Trees for the Future, a regenerative agriculture nonprofit that managed to plant 2.3 million trees from the crypto donations it received.

The Giving Block’s annual report sheds light on the growing trend of using cryptocurrencies for philanthropic purposes. The report’s predictions suggest that crypto donations are here to stay and will continue to grow in popularity over the next decade. With more individuals and organizations embracing cryptocurrency, it is likely that the total amount of crypto donations will exceed $10 billion by November 2032.

Furthermore, the report highlights the most popular cryptocurrencies used in donations, with USDC emerging as the most favored. The report also emphasizes the role of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in the crypto philanthropy space, setting an example for others to follow with his $9.4 million donation.

As crypto donations continue to gain traction, it is essential to know where the funds are going. The Giving Block’s report lists several charities that have benefited from crypto donations, demonstrating the potential impact of crypto philanthropy. The report also highlights the positive effects of crypto donations, such as the planting of millions of trees by Trees for the Future, showcasing the ability of crypto donations to make a significant difference in the world.

In conclusion, The Giving Block’s annual report predicts a bright future for crypto philanthropy. With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies and more individuals and organizations embracing them, it is likely that crypto donations will continue to grow over the next decade, with the total amount exceeding $10 billion by November 2032. As more charities benefit from crypto donations, the positive impact of crypto philanthropy will continue to grow, helping to create a better world for all.


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Cryptocurrency Firms Deny Exposure to Troubled US Banks

In recent years, the cryptocurrency industry has seen significant growth, with new exchanges, wallets, and other services popping up almost daily. However, the industry has also faced numerous challenges, including regulatory scrutiny, hacking attacks, and volatile market conditions.

The ongoing banking crisis in the United States is the latest challenge facing the industry. Several major U.S. banks, including Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank, have been dissolved due to financial difficulties, leaving customers and partners uncertain about the safety of their funds.

To address these concerns, major cryptocurrency firms have taken to social media to assure their users that they have no exposure to the troubled banks and that their funds are safe and accessible.

Tether, the operator of the largest stablecoin by market capitalization, with a market value of $73 billion, was one of the first companies to deny exposure to SVB and other troubled U.S. banks. Tether’s chief technology officer, Paolo Ardoino, took to Twitter to announce that the stablecoin company has zero exposure to Signature Bank.

Similarly, Kris Marszalek, CEO of major cryptocurrency exchange, provided similar statements on the company being unaffected by the ongoing issues in U.S. banking.

Other major exchanges, including Gemini and BitMEX, have also denied any exposure to the dissolved U.S. banks.

Despite having a partnership with Signature, Winklevoss brothers-founded Gemini exchange has zero customer funds and zero Gemini dollar (GUSD) funds held at the bank, the firm announced on March 13.

BitMEX exchange also took to Twitter on March 13 to announce that the company had “no direct exposure” to Silvergate, SVB, or Signature, and that all user funds continue to be safe and accessible 24/7/365.

Exchanges like Binance and Kraken have partly denied exposure to the dissolved banks, with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao stating that Binance does not have assets at Silvergate, and former Kraken CEO Jesse Powell also denying exposure to SVB.

Bitcoin mining firm Argo Blockchain issued a statement on March 13, declaring that the company has no direct or indirect exposure to SVB and Silvergate Bank. However, the company said that one of Argo’s subsidiaries holds a “portion of its operating funds in cash deposits” at Signature, which the company stated were secure and not at risk.

A number of other firms, including Animoca Brands, Abra, and Alchemy Pay, have partly denied exposure to the troubled U.S. banks, stating that they had no assets at SBV and Silvergate.

Some companies, like crypto custodian BitGo, declared that it holds no assets at SVB while being “not impacted” by issues at Silvergate, USD Coin, and Signature Bank.

In conclusion, the ongoing banking crisis in the United States has raised concerns among customers and partners of dissolved U.S. banks. However, major cryptocurrency firms have taken proactive measures to address these concerns and assure their users that their funds are safe and accessible despite the ongoing issues in the U.S. banking system. The response from the industry demonstrates its resilience and commitment to providing reliable and secure financial services to its users.


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Circle CEO Criticizes SEC Stablecoin regulations

According to Jeremy Allaire, founder and CEO of Circle, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission is not the suitable institution to oversee stablecoins.

The chief executive officer of Circle provided his opinions on the SEC and its recent actions to crack down on the cryptocurrency sector, including the stablecoin issuer Paxos, in an interview that took place on February 24 with Bloomberg.

Allaire seems to have taken issue with the SEC’s emphasis on stablecoins, stating that dollar-pegged “payment stablecoins” should be subject to the supervision of a banking authority rather than the SEC. This seems to be the case.

“I don’t think the SEC is the regulator for stablecoins,” said Allaire, adding, “There is a reason why everywhere in the world, including the U.S., the government is specifically saying payment stablecoins are a payment system and banking regulator activity.” “I don’t think the SEC is the regulator for stablecoins.”

Following the delivery of a Wells notice to Paxos, which is the issuer of Binance USD (BUSD), Circle affirmed the previous week that it had not been the subject of an investigation by the SEC.

“There are plenty of varieties, as we like to say, not all stablecoins are made equal,” Allaire stated. He continued by saying, “But, obviously, from a policy standpoint, the consistent position throughout the globe is that this is a payment system, prudential regulator area.”

However, the CEO of Circle said that he generally supported a recent proposal made by the SEC regarding cryptocurrency custody. This plan would make it far more difficult for exchanges to become custodians.

We believe that having competent custodians who are able to offer the right control structures as well as bankruptcy protections and other things is a very crucial and highly useful component of the market system.

USD Coin, which is issued by Circle, is the second-largest stablecoin in circulation worldwide (USDC). Its market share is 31% thanks to its circulating supply of $42.2 billion, which provides it that percentage. According to CoinGecko’s data, Tether continues to be the most popular stable cryptocurrency, with a supply of $70.6 billion and a market share of 52%.

On February 23, Allaire expressed his agreement with SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce’s statement that the agency need to consult with Congress. Some people argue that the Securities and Exchange Commission has been taking matters of crypto rules and enforcement into its own hands due to the absence of law in this area.

According to the article, Circle is planning to increase its staff by as much as 25 percent, breaking the typical trend of layoffs in the cryptocurrency industry.


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Circle Plans to Increase Workforce by 15-25%

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the issuer of USD Coin (USDC), Circle, intends to boost its employment by 15–25% in 2023 despite the widespread trend of layoffs throughout the sector.

Circle is going against the grain of the business landscape by increasing its headcount at a time when the majority of companies in its sector are reducing their workforces in an effort to improve their financial situations.

The bitcoin business was responsible for 41% of all job losses that occurred in 2023. Polygon, Chainalysis, Bittrex, Huobi,, Coinbase, Gemini, Genesis, and Wyre are a few examples of major cryptocurrency companies who have reduced their workforce by a large amount.

The protracted crypto winter and various crypto implosions, which wiped billions of dollars off the balance sheets of several connected firms, were important contributors to the decision made by cryptocurrency corporations to reduce their workforces. However, these massive layoffs in the cryptocurrency business were not an isolated event. In the month of January, almost 48,000 employees were let off amongst just four companies: Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Salesforce.

After postponing the launch of Circle to the public for a few months, the company has decided to hire more people to work on the project. In December of 2022, Circle and Concord Acquisition came to an agreement to mutually cancel their intentions to go public together. Concord Acquisition is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The transaction was first reported to be worth 4.5 billion dollars back in July 2021, but it was then revised to be worth 9 billion dollars in February 2022 when Circle’s value increased significantly.

According to Jeremy Fox-Geen, Circle’s chief financial officer, the company has not abandoned its plans to go public; nevertheless, they are holding off until market circumstances improve. He went on to say that in order for public-market investors to reevaluate the prospects of companies dealing in digital assets, the cryptocurrency sector needs more time to pass after the collapses of Terra and FTX.

The stablecoin issuer had around 900 workers at the end of 2022, and there are plans to grow the number of staff by 135–225 in 2023. On the other hand, the expansion of the personnel is happening at a slower rate than it did in 2022, when the headcount more than doubled from 2021.

The USDC token, which is produced by Circle and presently has a market valuation of $42 billion, is the second biggest stablecoin behind Tether’s (USDT) token.


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USDC issuer Circle releases accountant-verified report

Circle, the company that is responsible for issuing USD Coin (USDC), has made public a report that has been validated by an accountant on the treasury reserve assets that support the more than $44.5 billion worth of tokens that are now in circulation.

The present composition of the stablecoin issuer’s reserve vault is broken out in the reserve report that Circle published in December 2022 and that was evaluated by the accounting organisation Grant Thornton. According to Circle, there are presently $44,693,963,701 USD held in custody accounts, which support the value of 44,553,543,212 USDC.

It is important to note that a significant chunk of the latter sum is invested in a variety of treasury bonds issued by the United States government. According to Timothy Singh, who serves as the vice president of accounting for Circle, the overall amount of U.S. dollar-denominated assets, which may include a combination of cash and government bonds, is the fair value of the assets held in the USDC reserve.

The reserve fund that Circle uses is officially designated as a government money market fund. Circle is the only owner of the equity interests in the fund, which consist of fourteen distinct types of United States treasury bills and have a combined market value of about $23.5 billion. In addition, the fund has a cash balance of $48.9 million, and it is owed an additional $33 million; however, this amount will be reduced owing to “time and settlement disparities.”

Another two United States Treasury securities with a combined value of $10.5 billion are reported in a separate reserve assets category. These securities, along with another $10.5 billion in cash held by various financial institutions on behalf of Circle, bring the total value of reported reserve assets to a total of $20.5 billion.

Bank of New York Mellon, Citizens Trust Bank, Customers Bank, New York Community Bank, Signature Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Silvergate Bank are some of the U.S. institutions that hold Circle’s cash reserves. Other U.S. banks include Silicon Valley Bank and Silvergate Bank.

At the World Economic Forum that took place in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2023, significant participants that took part in programmes centred on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies included Circle and the payments network Ripple.

Circle’s Vice President of Global Policy, Corey Then, said that the group conducted meetings with legislators, conventional enterprises, digital firms, and humanitarian organisations to examine the prospect of using USDC as a payment alternative.

Circle’s position as a stablecoin issuer has continually expanded over the last two years, leaving USDC as the second-most-used USD-backed stablecoin, behind Tether. Tether is the most widely used USD-backed stablecoin.


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Azuki’s Twitter Account Hacked, Over $750,000 Stolen

A well-known nonfungible token (NFT) project known as Azuki had its Twitter account stolen on January 27. This resulted in the theft of about $750,000 worth of USD Coin (USDC) by the hackers who stole the account. Azuki is an example of a non-fictional character. Hackers were able to steal USDC by tweeting a link to a malicious “wallet drainer” website that disguised as a virtual land mint. This allowed them to access the website and take USDC. Because of this, they were able to take the USDC.

The data also showed that hackers were responsible for the loss of a total of $6,752.62 worth of USDC from a variety of wallets that held more than 3.9 ether and 11 NFTs combined. This amount of USDC was taken from a wallet that housed a total of $6,752.62 in USDC (ETH).

According to estimations provided by Wallet Guard, the total amount of money taken was in the range of $758,074.42 USD.

Emily Rose, who is the community manager for the NFT project, which is based on anime, verified on January 27 that the Azuki account had been hacked. Emily Rose is responsible for managing the NFT community. Twitter was the medium via which Rose communicated her affirmation. In addition, she cautioned Azuki’s followers to avoid clicking on any of the links that were sent to their Twitter account and warned them not to click on any of the links.

After gaining control of Azuki’s Twitter account, con artists were able to “publish a wallet drainer link,” as stated by Azuki’s head of community and product manager, Dem, on a Twitter Space sponsored by Wallet Guard on January 27. Dem was speaking about the incident. Wallet Guard sponsored the Twitter Space. Dem continued to talk about the event in question. Wallet Guard was in charge of maintaining the Twitter Space. Dem claims that the scam artists were successful in carrying out their operation because they were able to “post a wallet drainer link.”

Dem issued a call to action to the community while the organisation was attempting to recover control of the account. In the message, he advised people to “remain cautious and be vigilant” as the group worked to restore control of the account.


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Circle Spokesperson Denies Blaming SEC for Failed $9 billion deal

USD Coin (USDC) issuer Circle has rejected claims that it blames the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the failure of its $9 billion plan to go public in December, according to a spokeswoman for the company.

The representative of the stablecoin issuer was responding to an article that was published on January 25 in the Financial Times. The article characterised Circle as having “blamed” the securities regulator for its “derailed” listing by dragging its feet on the approval of a merger agreement. “Circle has not and does not blame the SEC for anything related to the mutual termination of our SPAC merger agreement with Concord,” the representative said, adding that any statements to the contrary are inaccurate.

Circle’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was contingent on them being able to combine with Concord, a company that was established by banker Bob Diamond through an arrangement known as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company deal, also known as a SPAC deal. This was one of the requirements for Circle to be eligible for NYSE listing.

According to the Financial Times, Circle said that the merger was unable to be completed because the SEC did not declare the relevant S-4 registration valid in a timely manner. This would have caused the agreement to become null and void on December 10th.

The spokeswoman for Circle, on the other hand, drew reference to earlier remarks made by the business in December and said that “the contract just termed out.”

However, on December 5 — the same day that it was announced that the deal had been terminated — Concord filed an 8-K form with the SEC, which revealed that it was being delisted by the NYSE due to “abnormally low trading price levels.” Prior to this, Concord had not publicly disclosed a reason for the failed business combination.

In point of fact, Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire had nothing but positive things to say about the SEC in a tweet he posted on December 5. In the tweet, he mentioned that while it was disappointing that they were unable to complete qualifications in time, the company was still planning on becoming a publicly listed one.


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Coindesk May Be Sold as Parent Company DCG Struggles

According to recent reports, the cryptocurrency news website CoinDesk is mulling over the possibility of being sold as its parent company, Digital Currency Group (DCG), wants to improve its financial standing.

The Wall Street Journal reports that CoinDesk has enlisted the assistance of investment bankers from the financial advising firm Lazard. These investment bankers are assisting the company in weighing its alternatives, which may include a whole or partial sale.

You know, I recently became aware that Coindesk is now available for purchase.

Charles Hoskinson, who tweets under the handle @IOHK Charles 19th of January, 2023 In the past few months, it has been reported that DCG has received multiple offers for the media company that are higher than $200 million. If these reports are accurate, this would represent an incredible return on investment for DCG given that the company was reportedly purchased by DCG for only $500,000 in 2016.

It would seem that Barry Silbert’s DCG is experiencing significant financial difficulties as of late. On January 17, the company informed its shareholders that it will be suspending dividend payments in an attempt to improve the soundness of its balance sheet and “preserve liquidity.”

On January 18, Bloomberg reported that another DCG subsidiary, crypto lending business Genesis Global, was intending to file for bankruptcy after it revealed that it owed creditors over $3 billion. This is undoubtedly the primary cause contributing to DCG’s current financial predicament.

According to the company’s website, DCG’s venture capital portfolio includes about 200 crypto-related startups, some of which include CoinDesk and Genesis.

The asset management company Grayscale Investments, the cryptocurrency exchange Luno, and the advising firm Foundry are all other businesses that are owned by DCG.

Some people believe that the article published by CoinDesk in November that revealed the irregularities in Alameda Research’s balance sheet was the first domino that eventually led to the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX as well as the liquidity issues that Genesis, its parent company DCG, and the broader cryptocurrency market are currently facing.


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Circle Launches Corporate Account to Support USDC Transactions

The issuer of stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), Circle, has launched a new account service that enables corporate customers to deposit, withdraw, receive and store cryptocurrencies through their account and settle all payments in USDC stablecoins.

Circle focuses on the position as the issuer of stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), one of the fastest-growing USD digital currencies; USDC’s circulation has more than doubled, reaching $52.5 billion as of February 16. Its circulation accounts for stable more than 29% of the currency market, second only to tether (USDT).

The newly added feature enables corporate accounts to integrate cryptocurrency trading into their corporate accounts’ operations and offers eligible investors a stablecoin lending program called Circle Yield, Inc., which offers annual returns of up to 4% to 6%.

Through Circle Account, business holders can pay or receive USDC on eight different blockchains: Ethereum, Algorand, Solana, Stellar, Tron, Hedera, Avalanche and Flow.

A Circle spokesperson said that:

“Some drivers for USDC growth are increased payment use cases, cross-border transactions and the adoption of assets like USDC as a “flight to safety,” especially in countries where the local currency is suffering from a valuation loss.”

Fintech company Circle Internet Financial has revamped its merger agreement with Concord Acquisition Corp (NYSE: CND) through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), doubling its valuation to $9 billion from the $4.5 billion were initially announced in July 2021.

Image source: Shutterstock


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